This week VMware is celebrating its 25th anniversary and it’s a good reason to stand still by such an amazing milestone. The blog of my colleague Luciano gave me the idea to post my first experiences with VMware back in the day and what it meant for my career.
The first encounter
Back in 2004, I just started in IT as a system administrator learning the ropes on Windows administration. The company with only about 15 employees had been able to land some nice deals to deliver (remote) support some quite interesting customers. Most customers ran their business on a Windows Small Business Server so I learned quickly a lot about Active Directory, Exchange and back-up in small environments. One day the CEO of the company came back from an event with the craziest of stories about software that could migrate a running server between two physical servers while playing a DVD file. This sounded like pure magic to me but I believed him. I wanted to lookup this magic on the web and tried my luck on http://www.esx.com… that didn’t really gave the result I hoped for as it is an acronym of a more popular subject. After a short while our sales landed deals at two companies at the same time for a new datacenter for a few servers and it should be on VMware ESX. With the little knowledge I had and a test server and installation cd, I installed my first ESX host and my first Virtual Machines and was asked to be the implementation engineer at one of the customers, a pretty big transport company at Schiphol. I learned so much in that one project, even if it were only two ESX hosts with a SCSI connected storage array attached without vCenter.
The second encounter
Thanks to that project I learned that my passion was not directly in the Windows system administration but in areas with more innovation back then. My two interests became virtualization and storage. When I started to look for a new job to feed my hunger for interesting projects, I came to Cam IT Solutions and I could start as a Storage Engineer. Green to the bone on NetApp and CommVault, I learned everything needed to deliver our services to customers. As the company was specialized on Ethernet based storage, they didn’t do much with VMware until 2006. When server consolidation became mainstream, we jumped on the boat and as someone that already worked with the product, I was the first to put my hand up to build the proposition. Soon after ESX 3.0 went on Beta, and I still remember our CTO doing a project to implement iSCSI datastores for the first time. This feature enabled us to truly embed ESX in our proposition along our unified storage on NetApp.
The story continued
To reward my efforts and give me the possibility to gain knowledge, I was allowed the do the VMware Infrastructure 3 training, go to VMware Technical Solution Exchange 2007 in Nice (first tech conference ever), VMworld Europe 2008 in Cannes and many after where I met many people from the community over the years. This all lead to great projects at our customers, become more senior in my roles and leading innovation. During my first time in USA for VMware Partner Exchange in San Francisco (2015), I met a company ITQ who did a lot with VMware and could help us to expand our proposition with network virtualization and automation. A great partner to build a future on VMware technology. Even after I changed companies, I stayed in contact with Francisco (one of the founders of ITQ) but eventually chose for a company closer to home. Eventually in 2020 I finally made the step to ITQ and became part of this amazing group of passionate people. Here at ITQ we think and breath VMware technology. We try to use VMware technology for good and help customers to overcome IT issues holding back their business possibilities. We share our knowledge with the community but this all couldn’t be done without the collaboration with the great people at VMware. Not only the local SE’s and TAMs but also many from abroad deliver the VMware/ITQ message with us at VMUG Usercons, VMware Explore and our own channels. After 18+ years with VMware, I know it isn’t just about the best products but especially about the mentality of the employees at VMware that make it a great partner to work with.
How will it go further?
We will have to wait what the future will bring for VMware and ITQ but based on the track record of the last 25 years, I’m very positive about the outcome. Dear VMware employees, I congratulate all of you on the anniversary and hope you enjoyed your EPIC day off. See you in 25 years to celebrate the 50th anniversary together just before my retirement! Cheers!
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